Rangeland Ecology & Management

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Conservation, Development by Design and Population Augmentation to support
Kevin France
Kevin Redden
Dale Eslinger
Joel Nicholson
Publication Year

The greater sage-grouse is listed as endangered under Alberta's Wildlife Act and the federal Species at Risk Act. The Alberta population has declined substantially in size and distribution. Sage-grouse range is currently limited to the southeastern corner of the province and represents about 10 percent of the species historical range in Alberta. The Alberta sage-grouse population has declined over the last 30 years to the point where the population was estimated to be less than 40 birds in 2011. An Alberta recovery plan was prepared by a multi-stakeholder team in 2005. There are two primary goals identified in the recovery plan: Enhance and maintain habitat for sage-grouse to satisfy life-cycle requirements in support of a viable population within its remaining historical range; achieve recovery of the sage-grouse population to a level (2000 individuals) that provides for sustainable recreational viewing and hunting. Numerous actions are described in the recovery plan. In which they are delivered by multi-stakeholder group. Preliminary results from the 2012 spring lek surveys indicate that the population is at approximately 40 birds. Population augmentation is underway to bolster the small population. A total of 40 sage-grouse have been translocated from northeastern Montana to southeast Alberta during 2011 (9 birds) and 2012 (31 birds). Translocated birds are being monitored using satellite telemetry. The presentation will highlight some of actions Alberta has taken to augment sage-grouse populations and protect habitat.

Additional Information
Kevin France1, Kevin Redden1, Dale Eslinger2, Joel Nicholson2 --- 1Alberta Sustainable Resource Development - Lands Division, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, 2Alberta Sustainable Resource Development - Fish and Wildlife Division, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada